Born from Polish grandparents, food has always been a big part of my life – and Polish food naturally fairs pretty high up in the scran polls – no pun intended.
If you’ve not tried Polish food before, please do, as you won’t be disappointed. Many people have a perception of Eastern and Central European food as bland and bleak, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
While the ‘eastern block’ doesn’t have the sun to make sweet tomatoes and juicy oranges, it has the soil, the mountains and above all, the love to make the food just so darn yummy.
I was delighted a couple of years back, when reading Appetite magazine, to discover that Newcastle had its own Polish restaurant up in Benwell. So excited in fact that I made reservations for that weekend – and boy was I not disappointed.
My husband and I chose Polish favourites like bigos aka ‘hunters’ stew’, chicken noodle soup (yep, it’s Polish too) and shared some pierogi, classic Polish dumplings filled with cream cheese and mashed potato. We then went for a main of chicken livers with apples, something i’d never had before, in a Polish capacity anyway, while Mike (said husband) went for the kotlet which is almost like a burger of sorts, made from minced pork and herbs.
Above clockwise: Bigos, pierogi, chicken livers and kotlet.
The bigos, the soup and the pierogi instantly took me back to my grandma’s house when she would serve up these wholesome treats for me. And the mains were absolutely delicious. My chicken livers were soft and blushing, whilst the apple provided that little bit of acidity needed for the earthy livers and fried onions. And no dish is complete without buttery mash in Poland, which is just what we got.
Anyway onto my marks….
According to Sam
4/5 – the decor is super cool, with antiques, local art on the walls and random chairs hanging from the ceiling.
5/5 – this place is incredibly well priced – there’s little on the menu for over £10.
4/5 – the place is small, so they have few staff, but everyone is very friendly and welcoming.
What I loved about this place, was that while the food was so homely and traditional, it was presented at a restaurant quality level, which should entice any potential Polish food skeptics into eager anticipation!